Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Ten Blogging Years!! ...Can Give You Such A Crick In The Neck

Cake Wrecks is officially 10 years old, gang. Raise your hand if that makes you feel old.


Ten years ago I was depressingly "normal." I was experiencing my first ever panic attacks, but I didn't know what panic was yet. I'd never heard of cosplay or steampunk, my last experience with gaming was a Sega Genesis, and my geeky loves from my childhood were reserved for insider jokes with close friends - which most of them didn't get. I literally kept my love of Star Trek - and all 300 of my collected novels - in the closet. I dressed and acted the way I thought I was supposed to, really really tried to make people like me, and generally had no idea who I was.

I started Cake Wrecks for two reasons: I was bored, and I love to write. What no one knew, though, was that I also love to be funny. Being funny is often seen as being rude, though, so in my terrified, everyone-must-like-me mindset, I figured I could never joke around in person.

Ahhh, but with this new fangled "blogging" thing? There I could let loose.

Anonymously, of course.

Cake Wrecks gave me the ride of my life: the terror of being discovered when it went viral, the eventual joy and confidence that came from success, and most lasting, most fulfilling: discovering  there were people out there who got my geeky inside jokes.

When snarking on cakes became a chore, as every job eventually does, I started Epbot. I was determined to narrow in on these mythical creatures who knew what the Kobayashi Maru was, the ones who laughed and finished my Princess Bride quotes, the ones who said they had crazy themed weddings and wore costumes and just had fun.

I wanted to find my people.

Or more accurately, I wanted to find these people, and become one of them.

At the same time, I was bringing John to his first conventions, and reveling in the memories of my ones from middle and high school. We bought a PlayStation, and I watched John play through the most mesmerizing stories, feeling like I was there in the screen with him. We started going to dinner with people who'd e-mailed me to bond over movies like Oscar or old Disney parades, people who were so friggin' intimidating, because they were doing all these fabulous things and had all these passions, and I felt like the interloper among them, but then after a few hours we found we couldn't stop talking.

What I'm saying is, it was a beautifully gradual thing, turning into the 10-years-later me.

Today I have a new inner circle of friends, with only one exception (love you, Julianne!). The ones who never got my jokes, who looked quizzical when we talked about dressing up for Halloween, who said someday we'd grow up? All gone. All replaced by people we've met because of Cake Wrecks or Epbot. Every. Single. One.

So when I say these blogs have changed my life, that's what I mean. I'm free online and IRL, free to be me and love what I love, because I've found the community that celebrates those things. I can wear rainbow sneakers, play video games, build silly crafts, rave about cosplay, and most importantly, make people smile with the things that make ME smile.

And when the times get tough, and my panic rears up, or the agoraphobia holds me down, I've found unending support for that, too. I held off for a lot of years, afraid to talk about it, afraid people would see it as attention-seeking or weak. Then The Bloggess paved the way by being so open about her depression, and I realized, everyone's out here just waiting for someone to talk about it.

So I talked about it.

And it got better.

Not always in the way I wanted, but even knowing I wasn't alone, that made it better.



This month marks some big changes for me and John. My world has been shaken of late. After losing Tonks and Lily we also lost my grandmother, though her passing was mercifully peaceful and expected. (I wrote her obituary - such an incredible honor and responsibility - and wow does that help crystallize some life goals.)

John and I originally planned to shut down Cake Wrecks this anniversary, but instead - once again - we switched course last minute and decided to keep it going. I'm clinging on to the familiar, still not ready to let go of this thing that's given me so much. Not ready to stop cracking jokes and making poo puns, not ready to say goodbye to Carrot Jockeys and the Epcot bunker. (HI GUYS.)

At the same time, we have all these exciting new ideas for Epbot, with no clear plan yet on how to do them. A good problem to have, but still! Oh, and get this; my parents retired last week, sold all their possessions, and moved into an RV to tour across the country. WOW. Again, exciting, but such a big change.

Finally, my health took a nose dive, which made my panic flare up, and I spent last week just holding on, just breathing, just taking my meds and talking myself down while relying on John to make doctor appointments and even the smallest of decisions. Out of desperation we started the AIP, an extremely hard-to-follow diet that requires we home-cook every meal, so our new hobby is grocery shopping and baking with something called cassava flour. I still don't know what cassava is, you guys. This is... this is a lot to take in.

Oh, and I turned 40.



So yeah, big stuff, mostly exciting stuff, but big. And now that my panic monster is settling down, I can start to look at it all with hope again. Hope that we'll figure it out, hope that we won't screw up, hope that Cassava flour isn't something gross like ground-up snail tails, because who does that?

I'll leave you with my last IG post, since I'm lazy and don't want to retype this caption again:

10 years ago today I started a "goofy little cake blog" that would change my life forever. πŸŽ‚πŸ° I've never posted my face on Cake Wrecks, and I probably never will, but here's a frizzy, no-filter selfie to celebrate. πŸŽ‰(I put on a little makeup for my 2 doctor appointments today, so I felt yucky AND semi-cute. 😊It's been raining for nearly a week now, though, so there's no helping the hair.) ------------------------------------- I've been struggling this month with health issues, big life changes, and panic from both those things, so it's hard to appreciate today. It's too big. So instead I try to focus on the people: the many, MANY friends I've made, the boxes of homemade cards & fan mail in my closet, the thousands of e-mails & messages saying something I did - something *I* did - made their lives a little happier, a little better. That's what I'm celebrating today. (That, and being brave enough to take a selfie sometimes, so someday maybe I can learn to like my face.) ------------------------------------------- I love you guys. Thanks for sticking around. And extra sprinkles for those of you who've been with me for the long-haul! πŸ†πŸ’–
A post shared by Jen Yates (@epbot) on

The response so far on IG - from all over the world - has been amazing and heartwarming and I've cried at least twice. You're just proving my point here, friendly FOE: when you find your tribe, it's worth it to take some risks. It is so worth it. Talk to someone new, be a little vulnerable, make that inside joke. Assume someone out there is waiting for you to lead the way.

You might be surprised where it takes you.

Love & Sprinkles, Inside a Heart

10-Years-Later Me

88 comments:

  1. Happy tenth anniversary! It's because of your blog that I currently have floating candles hanging over my dining room table for my daughter's 11th birthday.

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  2. A most wonderful post! Change can be hard, but it can be great at the same time! All the best for a year of great change, to conquering mountains, and to new paw prints on your heart!

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  3. Happy Birthday / Anniversary to you, brave lady. You make the Internet a better, brighter, more positive place.

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  4. Your selfie is amazing! You look fab and girl your eyebrows are on point!! Serious eyebrow envy goin on here! Congrats on 10 years and way to be you! Never stop.

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  5. I so appreciate you and everything you write! And just to drive one of your points home, I can't believe there is someone else who has heard of (let alone seen) the movie Oscar because it is bizarre and hilarious! On another topic, my youngest daughter loved finding out the name of your new kitten because her name is Evangeline and she also goes by Eva :)

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  6. Happy anniversary! And happy belated birthday! You are probably the youngest looking 40 yo ever. I guess loving your life and freeing yourself from "what you're supposed to be" is the best youth elixir there is..

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    1. That, and being 30 pounds over weight. :D :D :D (Never underestimate the power of a chubby cheeks!)

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  7. Happy Anniversary! I love your blog so much, it's a nice place for me to come and remember that there are other geeky people in the world. Thank you so much for doing what you do! Stay Amazing! :)

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  8. Happy (late) Birthday!!! I'm so glad you decided to keep cake wrecks going. That blog sometimes makes me laugh when nothing else seems funny. Also I love all the geekiness and absolutely amazing crafts that come from this blog!! You rock Jen, and John!

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  9. Happy 10 years of blogging! And I know it sounds super cheesy, but thank you for being you. You owning your geekiness has helped me to do the same, and my life is much better for it. Stay awesome, Jen.
    Oh, and you are GORGEOUS. Seriously. :)

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  10. Happy anniversary! I'm glad you're sticking around, I love reading your blogs :) Also your blogs spawned the happiest place on the internet, which is fantastic!

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  11. Wait, you just turned 40? You're almost exactly 10 years older than me? And you just started this blog 10 years ago? So like...

    Sorry, this is blowing my mind. I've been feeling a lot of pressure around being 30 and now it feels like I have permission not to have figured out what my life is quite yet because when Jen-senpai was my age she hadn't even found her people yet, so there's still time and hope for me :D

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    1. There's always still time, always still hope. As a kid I wanted to be a published author, then I figured if it didn't happen by age 30 it wouldn't happen. I started CW just after my 30th birthday, and within a few months I had a book deal almost literally dropped in my lap. Your life can change FAST, just keep plugging away, chasing what you love.

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  12. A) Happy birthday
    B) I'm so glad you are still around and having fun because you make my days brighter.
    C) that can't be a selfie, how can a 40 year old have a 25 year old face.

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  13. Thank you. You and The Bloggess saved my sanity. I don't comment as often as I probably should, but I read everything, and somehow you and John feel more like family than some family.

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  14. Happy 10 years!! <3 <3 You're beautiful inside & out - thank you for sharing so much of yourself, and encouraging others to do so as well!

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  15. Your journey is honestly so reassuring to me. There's so much pressure to figure out what you love and are passionate about, to find your niche of things and people in your early twenties. I definitely don't feel like I'm there yet, but this blog feels to remind me that you can find/make your best life at any time, age, or stage, so we should never count ourselves out or start thinking that we've missed the chance to have all of that!

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  16. Oscar? Get rid of him...expeditiously.

    Yay for your anniversary, birthday, and keeping Cake Wrecks going! I've been a follower from the beginning, and have loved every minute of it.

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  17. Happy Anniversary! I very much enjoy EPBOT. I've learned all kinds of things from you.
    I am very sorry to hear about your grandmother. And the dear kitties. I hope your parents are having fun. ( do they know about the Bucket List Family?)
    And just because I'm literal, Cassava flour is a ground up root- same plant tapioca is from. No snails. Hope you feel better soon, Lord knows you've helped lots of us feel better.

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  18. I feel a little sad that you have lost/gotten rid of all your old friends but one. so they didnt get your jokes, and werent on the same wavelength. isnt it the differences in us all that make us great? i would hate to have you restrict your world down to those who are super similar and always agree with you. its a big world of viewpoints and opinions and you dont have to agree with someone to be besties. you just need to respect their love of things that you dont necessarily love.

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    1. I completely agree, and I'm realizing that came out sounding harsher than the reality was. Truth is our life just changed, and those people naturally drifted away through moves and job changes, family changes (having kids made most back away & choose new friends), etc.

      John & I have friends on all sides politically & religiously, and geeks come in a thousand and one flavors that rarely match mine, so I'm never looking for an echo-chamber; just a common passion for things that are creative or inspiring.

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    2. This anonymous must not have been reading Epbot very long to think that you and John needed to hear her "lesson". I think you guys are the epitome of non-judgmental and open-minded. It makes me sad that they misunderstood your meaning so completely.

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    3. But Anonymous did say some wise things. I so loved Brene Brown's most recent book "Braving the Wilderness" and would recommend it to anyone. But one chapter in particular was about how we as a nation are getting into ideological "bunkers" and that is leading to more division. So, it's something I'm sure considering in my own life. On the other hand, my world too has gotten just a little smaller as I've gotten older. Esp. the past few years which have been pretty traumatic for me--relationship wise--I have wanted to hunker down with people who are safe, and I have been able to see better which friends are actually friends and which are not. I haven't cut off any friendships, but I do allow myself to not invest in those relationships that are not actually healthy or helpful. So, I guess it's ok to hunker, just not in a bunker? ; )

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  19. Congratulations on reaching your 10 year anniversary and best wishes for a very happy birthday! While I very rarely comment, I truly enjoy reading both CakeWrecks and Epbot and hope you keep them both up! I am so very glad that little Eva came into your life when she did :0) Sounds like she's been a welcome distraction to all the troubles in your life as of late!

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  20. I also have Hashi's. I did aip. Holy cow, it's hard, but it really helped. I can now eat dairy with makes eating no grains bearable. I still cook most everything from scratch, but there are are few restaurants with food I can eat. With a husband and six kids the worst part is not eating what they're eating. You can do it.

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  21. 1. I discovered Cakewrecks on Dec 17, 2008, while sitting in the hospital waiting for my BFF to have her second baby and I’ve been a loyal wrecky minion ever since.
    2. I emailed you several years ago and you replied and that email is still in my inbox because it was such a huge fangirl achievement, lol.
    3. You seriously look like you’re in your late 20s! Benefit of the night owl life and never seeing the sun??
    4. After struggling through a years-long life-debilitating bout of depression, I finally have found my medicine combo that works and I feel like I’ve been given a second chance at life at age 34. I’m currently sitting in my RV that my husband and I just purchased in order to go full-time with our 8 and 10yo daughters and travel the US. Maybe we’ll meet your parents out there!
    5. Thank you. For everything.

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  22. I found this place when I was searching for smashed penny jewelry ideas and it took far longer then I'd like to admit to realize this and Cake Wreaks were connected. Thank you for all the joy you bring into my nerdy little corner of the world and have this video about the history of Dreamfinder and Figment as thanks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPeea5khpx4

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  23. Thank you for all the joy, laughter and even tears that you have brought into my life.

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  24. Happy birthday and happy blogaversaries!

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  25. 1. This isn't the point, but you are lovely. Do not be afraid to show yourself.
    2. I've visited CakeWrecks every day since April 2009 and Epbot daily since your first post. Both places never fail to make me smile. That... that is a true gift. Thank you.
    3. I'm with Lindsay- I emailed you once years ago, you replied, and I still have that email saved and I totally fangirled over it.
    4. Your Disney-related posts are my favorite. I can't get to Orlando more than once a year, but would love to be there for every event. Thank you for your glorious posts on Dapper Days, new parades, Epcot festivals, etc. They make me feel like I'm in my favorite place all the time!
    5. Just thank you... again...

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  26. <3 We are happy to have met you too!

    (and if you didn't do Cakewrecks, what would you do?)

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  27. I love you! That is all.

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  28. I've been with Cake Wrecks from nearly the beginning. It still makes me laugh and smile all the time. Thank you so much for continuing to do it! Epbot has also shown me so many amazing things, and I am so grateful for that. Happy Anniversary, and Happy Belated Birthday from another that just turned 40.(yay for 1978!)

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  29. If you hadn't put a link to the Bloggess on this blog, I would never have heard or her, read her books, realized it was perfectly okay to build dollhouses when you're approaching fifty and that having problems (of all types) is part of life.

    I wouldn't have realized that I was allowed to be imperfect. That it's okay for me to not have kids and not be like everyone else in the world that I work with.

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  30. We share a birthday, with me having turned 41 this year. Gotta say, I am jealous of how young you look! I was blessed to have learned long ago to love myself, faults included, so that is a healthy, fun, jealousy, not the beating myself up kind of jealousy. You go girl! Keep doing what you are doing, because it is working!

    Happy Anniversary! As much as I love Cake Wrecks, I love Epbot even more! I am another person that you have helped. I actually suffer many of the same health issues, including the depression and anxiety, and you've helped me remember that the good times always come back, especially when the other health issues take a nose dive, like the RA. I'm going to research this AIP diet and see if it is something that can help me out as well. It wouldn't be the first time one of your diagnoses and/or treatment plans helped me start a conversation with my doctor! Love you guys!

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  31. Hellooooo, gorgeous! Forty looks amazing on you! You must have been anxious about posting such a natural photo (where you aren't hiding under a hat or behind a mask or with a phone covering your face), so I'm super proud of you for your bravery! I can definitely empathize with how you feel about photos and privacy, so I know it was a big deal. And, by the way, you are EXTREMELY cute, not "semi-cute."

    I am so glad you have found such amazing friends through your blogs. Would you consider making a post where readers who are looking for friends or pen pals could introduce themselves in the comment section? As I'm sure you know, Jenny Lawson has done that a couple times, and I scrolled through the responses, but Epbot and Cakewrecks people definitely have their own tribe. I would really, really love to have a local friend and/or a pen pal. I'm sure you have lots of other lonely, shy readers who need their own group of hilarious friends. Maybe, like me, they don't use social media and therefore can't hang out on FoE. Just something to think about. (I opened a Facebook account just to join FoE when the group was created, but Facebook froze my account for using an alias after a few weeks, so that was the end of that.)

    Heartfelt condolences to you and your family on the loss of your grandmother. Congratulations on the recent anniversaries of both blogs, and a belated happy birthday to you (although I did send a deformed octopus card on time). Also, good luck with the AIP diet. You can do it! (and I sure hope it will help you!)

    Thanks for the years of laughs and tears (both happy and sad), and thanks making the world a better place every day!

    KW

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  32. 40? You don't look 40. Now, take me...I feel every inch of 42 tonight. ;)

    You've had quite a month, though. My husband and I have cried with you in our hearts and cheered over kitten videos. And I want to say, Epbot has helped me remember why I loved all that stuff and embrace it again...I go to our local convention, I geek out over cosplay (until I read your blogs, I'd never heard of cosplay or steampunk either!) and watch My Little Pony with impunity. I even stepped into moderating a Transformers Facebook group...which I wouldn't have done if I hadn't read Epbot and realized it's okay to be in your 30s and loving this goofy stuff.

    So...here's to 10 years of Cake Wrecks, which lead to Epbot, which led to FOE and finding US. <3

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  33. I can't believe I've been following you for 10 years! Crazy how time flies. Cakewrecks was where I started and quickly found Epbot. I mostly lurk but occasionally comment (and I hope you ended up finding a use for the copper bead key I sent once lol)
    Big happy birthday to you as well. 40? Seriously? You really don't look it at all!
    As someone who turned 40 this year and still gets mistaken for someone way younger myself (I still get carded for like everything and mistaken for around 23) i say enjoy it!
    Thanks so much for the years of sharing and opening up your life this way - it can't have been easy but handled with grace.
    Thanks to you for creating this digital refuge of the nerdy and crafty.
    I can't wait to see what you two come up with next.

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  34. I love that you posted a pic! And that we are almost the same age (I'm 46), because somehow I always thought you were younger and now I know there's hope yet.

    Totally crazy random happenstance--last night I had a dream that you and John were in. We were at some party or something, a big to-do with costumes and fun, and it went really late so at some point a bunch of people crashed wherever they could find a place, in their clothes. So somehow I ended up in a bed with you and John. You were against the wall on one side of the bed and I was on the outside. John was kinda curled up between us down at the foot. It wasn't awkward at all. (Ah, dreams) But then when it was nearing dawn one of my old best friends from high school (who I am fb friends with but whom I have not seen IRL for a good 15 years and have not spoken to for years) decided to climb in too. When I realized what she was doing I tried to tell her the bed was full, but seeing the space between us, Jen, she just climbed clumsily over me and kinda forced her way in. I tried to warn her about John but she must have been totally kicking him and he raised up to see what the heck was going on. My friend is not a small woman. The bed was now very awkwardly crowded. I felt badly for you and John, like it was my fault this happened. So I decided to casually slip out and try to sleep on the floor so there would be more room.

    When I woke up and remembered the dream it gave me a chuckle. I always try to interpret dreams and I think this one meant that I was feeling at home in the world of Epbot. And confirmed I am a recovering codependent. Because I'm still working on boundaries and standing up for my "no" and taking responsibility for other people's actions. ; )

    So, thank you for making such a creative and safe and real space to share with others. Clearly it leaves an impression.

    Happy 10th and Happy 40th!

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  35. Happy 10th and Happy 40th (and happy 20th later this year)! :D You guys are fabulous!! <3

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  36. I mean this in the nicest possible way; but I (accidentally, of course) laughed hysterically when you put "hard to follow diet" and "homecook every meal" in the same sentence. I know it's more than just the home cooking that makes it hard, and I know home cooking is hard in a country where ready-made meals are cheap and plenty, but still... you yanks crack me up sometimes ;)

    Oh, and if you're ever in Denmark you're so extremely welcome to come spend some time and learn some sweet cooking tips and tricks (meat and dairy free, always, and easily adaptable to your other dietary needs)

    Bottom line; I love you, Jen, for all the years of laughter and inspiration. Even when you show off your American side ;p

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    1. I really don't think that has much to do with being American, and while I know you meant it nicely, that comes off as kind of harsh. A diet can be hard to follow even as a home cook - AIP is extremely restrictive because it's an elimination diet. There are plenty of "yanks" who are home cooks without much fuss - I cook most of my own meals. But our only dietary restrictions are self-imposed because of preference; if I had to pare things down to a list of only very specific foods for a diet like AIP it would be much, much harder.

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  37. Hi Jen! You're such an inspiration to me. Everything from your crafts, to your home improvements, to your marriage, to your tenacity to just. keep. going. I love that about you. And your eyebrows. GIRL, YOU'RE ROCKING SOME DAMN FINE EYEBROWS. I wish to one day be as craft, as DIY as you and as John - Boy do I really admire John and his power tools - but my anxiety surrounds my house and the fact that I had water pouring in my brand new basement windows in a basement 'water proofed' two years ago really causes my panic to freak up. SO I haven't quite been able to tackle my DIY home improvement projects (I want to run a coax cable through the wall.. simple dry wall.. someone please send someone to walk me through it the first time.) but with your help - I keep getting a little bolder about it.

    That's just one of the small ways you help me, Jen. and I'm glad we help you. I don't comment much, but There's an imp out here, rooting for you. If you and John are ever in Ohio, let me know. I'll give you a personal tour of the Carousel Factory - you'll love it.

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  38. I just love you for your honesty and not sugar coating your life. And I also love your eyebrows! Mine have faded over the years and I now have to "paint" them on. I would love to have them tattooed, but hubby says absotively NOT!
    Also.
    Happy belated birthday and happy Cake Wrecks Anniversary!

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  39. Mazel Tov on the anniversary and a happy belated birthday!

    I've been reading Cake Wrecks almost from the beginning and Epbot since it started. These blogs have entertained me and made me feel like I'm not alone in my geekyness. So, THANK YOU.

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  40. I'm not a geek. Have never been to a Con of any kind and have no desire to. Not into gaming or cosplay or many of the things you write about. But I've been in love with Cake Wrecks since I discovered it all those years ago and Epbot since you started it. Your enthusiasm comes through so strongly and the crafting - oh, the crafting!!! Thank you for continuing to make me laugh out loud every morning and thinking that maybe floating candles are just what our living room needs. :-)

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  41. Happy Anniversary! Someday I hope we can laugh together in person over the joyful moments you've unknowingly brought to my life. The year you started Cakewrecks I was there and when I followed you over to Epbot I haven't stopped reading - it's always a safe place I can go read something interesting and fun written by kind and wonderful people, thank you. I started having anxiety that same year you started Cakewrecks and reading a post (or specifically the Kwanza cake) before a big conference call for work helped me pull myself together through laughter. Thank you for helping me survive a difficult time. Funny, I was reading your story arc and thinking I've been going through the same thing, except we haven't managed to find our geeky inner circle yet... still working on that. So happy for you and hope you and John and Evangeline find nothing but love in your future.

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    1. ps. We also had to redo our whole way of eating due to food allergies and health (similar to AIP), so if you need any tips or recipes I'm happy to share resources and help!

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  42. Congrats on 10 years!

    And if you really wanted to know cassava is a root vegetable popular in African countries as a starch source. It is also want tapioca is made of (sorry, I can't turn the plant biologist in me off ;))

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  43. I have been reading both blogs for yeas. I started with Cake Wrecks and checked out Epbot when you started up. I don't cosplay, I don't game, I don't even love Disney (sorry). BUT... I LOVE that you unabashed love what you love. Your honesty, passion, and just general friendliness toward all folks keeps me coming back. You have allowed me to be open about what I love and not care what others think. So, even if I don't share your passions, I share your love for being honest and for just having passion regardless of what others think. THANK YOU! You and John give so much to your readers.

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    1. I completely agree. I am not sure why I'm a part of this world--I don't think I quite fit either--but I feel very much at home

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  44. It's hard to believe that 10-years-later you isn't the one that's always been out there, because it's such an epically awesome you. You've done so much for bringing people together and encouraging them to embrace their inner geek, I can't believe you ever had to struggle with that yourself. It's thanks to you that I'm Star Wars bounding today at work (Leia at Cloud City) in honor of seeing Solo tonight. Carrie Fisher may be Space Mom, but you're Blog Sis, and that's awesome.

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  45. I could be you... you could be me. I always struggled with trying to fit in and be who I thought everyone wanted me to be. I like silly things and kids movies and books and nerdy stuff. It took me a long time too to embrace that (I'm 43) and I'm lucky that my husband accepts that about me (he doesn't totally understand or join me, but he doesn't judge, maybe questions quizzically). I love that you've been able to make a life out of all the things you love, something I wish I could do, but you do it so well. I remember when my friend first showed me Cake Wrecks and we were cracking up so hard at work that people asked what we were looking at. And I was hooked. Not only are the pictures hilarious, but your writing is spot on. I brought my Mom to your book signing in Dallas (she was clueless as to what all this cake stuff was all about). And I read both of your blogs religiously and they brighten my day in every way. If you do decide to end Cake Wrecks, I hope that you simply pass it on to a reader instead of closing it down for good. I feel like only another reader who's been there since the beginning could do it justice. Keep on keepin on!!

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  46. Happy Anniversary, Happy Birthday and a giant (internet) hug to you and John for doing what you do. I audibly gasped when I read that you had planned to shut down Cake Wrecks on the 10 year mark. I understand why you would, but I'm REALLY glad you're going to keep it going. I look at Cake Wrecks and Epbot every day and in this world we're in right now- sometimes those are the only positive and happy places I can find online. That's pretty huge. You've been a such an inspiration to me in every way, and I can never say thank you enough for all you've done.

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  47. Hey, the Paleo diet isn't so bad. Fried sweet potatoes for everyone!!

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  48. Celeste ChampionMay 24, 2018 at 11:18 AM

    WE LUVS YOU BOTH!!!! Guardians of the Light on the internet, where would FOEs be without you?

    Now, Cake for Everyone!!!!

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  49. Leah in WilliamsburgMay 24, 2018 at 11:18 AM

    Happy birthday! I just turned 40 too. I went on a 3 day hiking trip to celebrate, for which I insisted on bringing homemade cupcakes, and I'm planning an ice cream tour of Williamsburg this summer. You gotta be you, not somebody else's idea of you.

    I hope your health issues get sorted out soon.

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  50. Love your blog, used to read cakewrecks in the beginning, then it became to much, not a reflection on the blog, more a reflection on my head and my struggle with depression and perfectionism, the need to have read every post fully etc.

    Wanted to comment on this and say I LOVE you and your writing and amen about finding your people, I'm working on it, and what a fun bunch my people are!

    Congrats on 10 years, hope epbot gets many many many more years! Oh and congrats on falling in the foster trap with kitten! Mine made it to 13months before I realized she had adopted me so I better just make it official!

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  51. Sending many heartfelt thanks your way for both the fun of Cake Wrecks and the fun and serious sides of Epbot. I see my Epbot pins daily on my knitting bag and love that someone else shares my geeky humour. But I bought them because of your courage to share your mental health struggles--struggles I too have experienced but remain unable/unwilling/too scared to put my own name to. Thank you for leading the way. Thank you for showing all of life's in colour, glory, wonderful geekiness, challenges, and losses and for simply showing you are a survivor--that all this has hit you and yet you're wiling to continue trying to face it. In that, as in so many things, you have been an inspiration. So thank you for letting me (us) travel with you--your words, photos, craft tutorials, fan art . . . everything has enriched my life and helped me to continuing facing my (very similar) challenges.

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  52. My love to you and John. So glad I met you!

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  53. Happy Belated Birthday!

    You have magnificent eyebrows.

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  54. Happy birthday, happy anniversary, and good luck on the AIP! Cassava flour is from the ground up root of the cassava plant from South America--no snails! Tapioca is derived from it too. Cassava is the most like wheat-flour for baking purposes, so it's a good choice for subbing out. Here's to your good health!

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  55. First, welcome to the "oh my God I'm HOW old" club. Meetings on the first Tuesday of the month. ;)

    Second, I rarely make comments, but I feel that such a momentous anniversary means that I should share some things.... I'm not sure if you guys know how much you inspire all of us, every day, but the kindness, the love, and the stick-to-it-ness that you and John share with each other and with the world is honestly just the best thing in this whole gosh darned messed up world. Thank you for letting us be a part of it.

    I was that kid who never shared their nerdy passions because it consistently got me laughed at. Finally, as an actual adult with a serious career (I know, right?!), it was reading Epbot and CakeWrecks and The Bloggess and Penny Arcade and Pat Rothfuss' blog that helped open my brain to the fact that yes, indeed, there are other "grown ups" who love Star Wars or Star Trek or comic books or D&D....and who wear silly t-shirts or colorful socks or that one weird thing that just SPEAKS to their heart, just because they want to. And that no good, kind, decent person is going to laugh at them for loving what they love, or being who they are.

    Thank you guys for 10 years of kindness and decency on the internet. The world is a better place because you're in it. <3

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    1. "Thank you guys for 10 years of kindness and decency on the internet. The world is a better place because you're in it. <3"

      Absolutely could not agree with this more. You are a force for good in the world.

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  56. Love you love you love you. Love you all. Jen you are SO RIGHT. You keep doing you John keep doing John. Fellow readers all, let us do us.
    Bless you all forever.

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  57. Hugs all around! I love you guys.

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  58. I discovered Cake Wrecks soon after you started it and then Epbot also. You're the only ones I follow. Thank you for doing what you do.

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  59. Congratulations on reaching 10 years and thank you for deciding to continue! While I still love the laughter I get here (and the oohs over the sweets), you have to do what works for you, and I'll be first in line cheering whatever decisions you make.

    My mother didn't "do" the internet, so when I saw you had a book, I sent it to her one Christmas. She loved it - laughed a lot, shared with friends. Some years later after Mom had passed and Dad had moved to a nursing facility, I was cleaning out their house, and yes, that book was still there. It's now on my bookshelf, a sweet reminder of times past.

    BTW, I'm *cough* somewhat older than you are, and sitting at a desk covered in nail polish, plush bunny Peeps, beanie babies, watches with rhinestones on them, etc. (yeah, and work, but that's no fun). Life is too short not to surround yourself with people and colors and music and activities and things that make you happy.

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  60. Bonne et joyeux anniversaire!

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  61. Happy Anniversary, belated Happy Birthday. I've just come home from my first day at Phoenix Comic Fest, and yes, it is good to find "my people" out there.

    Joy

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  62. You changed my life too. You have the only places on the net that are beacons of positivity. You made me laugh my head off when I needed it most. You inspire me to JUST DO THE THING. and I love all the epobotters and FOES who give me comfort and joy every day and who I "met" through you. happy birthday. xxxx

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  63. Happy anniversary, and birthday, and finding your tribe (not really a holiday, but definitely worth celebrating)! I think our society does need some kind of celebration (even if it might often need to be retroactive, because who can pinpoint it at the time?) for the moment we realize that we've somehow developed the confidence to be the person we are regardless of what others might think. It's a beautiful moment that I don't think gets enough credit.

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  64. First - CONGRATS on hitting the ten year mark. Doing anything creative for that long can and will lead to some burnout. Thank you for continuing to have both blogs. The cakes make my work day better and this makes my soul better.
    Second - so very sorry to hear about the cats and your grandmother. That is a lot to process. As my vet tells me - "Be kind to yourself for as long as you need to. It honors your cat".
    Third - so sorry your health is not where you want it to be. But another ThankYou for introducing me to The Bloggess.
    So Jen - you have become a safe place for geeks, wanna be geeks and people either dealing with or helping family members deal with health issues. YOU ROCK! So give John a kiss, Eva a hug and your parents a stack of postcards to send home. And really - thank you for these blogs.

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  65. Replies
    1. omg; I'm so glad SOMEBODY said that!! I would have if you hadn't. <3 :)

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  66. Thank you for this.
    For all of what This is... and the this-y-ness of it.
    I'm not that geeky, I'm not that sparkly, but I am a person who loves to wear bright yellow shoes and still hopes that one day Jean Luc Picard will take me on as his number one.

    I'm also 31. And terrified. And all of these life changes are coming at me, and I'm trying to seek and discern what I want these next 10 years to look like. While I don't want them to look like yours -- yours are your own, and it's ok that I'm not a person who will ever enjoy some of the things that you love -- I do want my journey to look like yours.

    To rediscover wonderful things that I really do love. To have the courage to love the things I love and to let go of the "I really WANT to want to be like that." Letting go is hard, and letting in is hard. Managing anxiety and eating disorders and just existing in this life is hard.

    But you showed me joy in all of that difficulty. You showed me that I can recreate myself now - or, even better, rediscover myself.

    So thank you Jen. I started over with you at Cake Wrecks, I followed you to Epbot, and I found a friend that I probably will never meet - and was ok about it. Even more, I celebrated that there is a you in the world. Full disclosure: I hardly read CW any more, but I read every Epbot post. Sometimes multiple times.

    So thank you. And way to go.

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  67. Sometimes I feel so out of place; a Minnesotan stuck in South Carolina away from my family and not having many friends because everyone seems to look at me with a wary "what is she doing NOW?" look on their face... and I come here; and Cake Wrecks, and FoE on FB... and Laugh; and feel like yes, there ARE other people out there that feel out of place but put a good face on it every day and it makes it better. It really does.
    Sometimes I wonder if I'm not even geeky enough for Epbot and FoE... because although I have my fandoms I'm not as passionate about them due to lack of time or craf-bility.. but then I read that you also LOVE the movie OSCAR (omg thank god I'm not the only one) and it gets Even Better. Keep Doing what you Do; you Do it SO MUCH Better than you even Realize.
    And for what it's worth... my life got even better after I turned 40.
    Hugz,
    Robyn

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  68. Wow! We love you guys! Thanks for all the tips, tricks, laughs, pics, movies, fun, and, and, and... You rock!!

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  69. So much love for this. I discovered Cake Wrecks and then Epbot through that blog about 5 years in. I am so happy you are continuing. Both of your blogs are a wonderful moment for me to look through during my day and a reminder to have fun in life, even through the hectic times!

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  70. Happy Cake Wrecks Anniversary! And Happy Ten-Years-Later-You!

    Also, Oscar? YES!!! *Dr. Poole leans over the railing* "Hello!" Bwa ha ha! That is one of the funniest movies ever! It was one of the first DVDs that I ever bought because I HAD to own a copy of it. :D

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  71. Thanks for that. My husband and I are approaching 10 years together, and we got together around the time I started reading Cake Wrecks (vivid memories of working on my thesis in the library while visiting him and procrastinating with CW and trying not to giggle too loudly). By the way: thanks for pointing out cassava. I live in Hong Kong now, and in the village farm fields, there is often this plant I see being grown, but it doesn't seem to produce any vegetables. I was stumped about why anyone would grow a non-vegetable-producing plant -- it's cassava! Mystery now solved! :) I'll send you some pictures sometime if I remember!

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  72. *sending you all the loves*

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  73. Such a heart warming post! You make me want to be more like you. I've yet to find my tribe, but at least I've started to look. The thought of having someone laugh at my inside jokes, and squee with me when I mention the latest book/movie/comic/TV-series really fils me with joy.

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  74. You're the only blogger of whom I think "we would be friends if we knew each other". You helped me so incredibly much when my boyfriend's depression and anxiety started - I see us in you two, and it really helps me feel not alone. Thank you for all of these years of silly cakes and especially for all the things that Epbot is.

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  75. My daughter, who is almost 26, said this when I showed her your photo and told her you turned 40: "That's a lie! She is not 40 - she looks 15!" That is a compliment, dear lady! keep hanging in there, you are blessed and a blessing!

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  76. Happy birthday and anniversary! All the best people are kids at heart. <3

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  77. You have no idea how much I understand this. I was so much different ten years ago when I was in college. I too, was painfully "normal", and had very few friends. A lot of people knew that I was suuuuper into Lord of the Rings, but now that I've discovered things like cosplay, so many nerdy interests, running, crochet, and all manner of things, I feel like I really have a personality, whereas before I was pretty "blah".
    I too hit a big birthday recently. I just turned thirty, and while there are a lot of mixed emotions that came with it for several reasons, it feels better than when I turned 20. I mean, I can say for certain that I have a best friend - something I'd never had before. All because of cosplay, Disney, and the cosplay group I volunteer with.
    Both CakeWrecks and Epbot have brought me so much joy over the years. I feel like I have gotten to know both of you, even though the only time we've met was on your second book tour. I hope to be following your sites for many years to come. I'm so grateful that you spurred on the creation of the FoE group, because I know it's somewhere I can go to celebrate the things in my life and not feel like I might be rejected. It's a wonderful community and just know that you are an important part of it!

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